With Adelaide United’s highly anticipated pre-season match against English giants, Liverpool FC, to be played in just a few days, here are five Liverpool Reds to keep your eye on.
Although a relatively unknown name amongst the large list of Liverpool’s international stars, Joao Carlos Teixeira is one of the most promising young talents currently gracing Liverpool’s Academy.
The Portuguese creative midfielder initially developed his craft at the infamous Sporting Clube de Portugal academy before joining Liverpool in 2012 where he comfortably slotted into the club’s youth setup.
Having made just one Liverpool first-team appearance due to a number of injury concerns plaguing his progress, Teixeira was last season loaned out to Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion FC to gain invaluable experience playing senior football.
However, in mid-April and after he had amassed 32 appearances for Brighton and scored six goals, 22-year-old Teixeira suffered a break in his leg just days after stating his desire to continue his good form with the Seagulls in his charge towards Rodgers’ starting XI for 2015/16.
But with Teixeira now fit and enjoying pre-season, his chance to truly stake a claim for the first-team football that he craves has arrived and it’s safe to assume that his explosive inventiveness with a football will flourish on the quick surface of Adelaide Oval.
After signing for Liverpool during the summer transfer window and officially completing his move to Merseyside on July 1, new boy, Danny Ings, will be out to impress just as much as anyone throughout Liverpool’s pre-season tour.
Having decided not to re-sign with Championship-bound Burnley FC after the Clarets were unable to avoid relegation in the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season, Ings’ performances and ability in front of goal impressed Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, enough to make a move for striker.
Liverpool’s new no. 28 managed eleven goals and contributed four assists for Burnley in 2014/15, then finished his campaign at the U21 European Championships with England’s Under 21s.
Ings, who’s a clinical finisher with both feet and his head, was entitled to a full break following his involvement with England’s Under 21s, however chose to cut it short to being life at Liverpool as soon as possible.
This eagerness and utter determination will undoubtedly see Ings pose a substantial threat to United’s defence.
Possessing blistering pace and unbelievable skill on the ball, 19-year-old, Jordon Ibe, is another Liverpool player who will certainly be looking at his club’s pre-season tour as the perfect opportunity to make an impact prior to season 2015/16.
Having spent part of last campaign on loan to Championship side, Derby County FC, a string of impressive performances, through which he bagged five goals for the Rams, and also numerous injuries to Liverpool’s squad caused Ibe to make an early return to Anfield.
His return was inspiring and performances resolute, as the winger terrorised Premier League defences throughout his 12 appearances, making light work of the typically daunting task of playing as a wing-back helping to cover a defensive three, whilst also needing to put in a dominant attacking display.
Ibe was rewarded for his diligent work at the end of 2014/15 by being offered a new long-term deal with Liverpool and after penning the deal stated his intentions of continuing his brilliant form into this pre-season as he prepares for what he hopes to be another significant season in his career as a Red.
Belgian striker, Divock Origi, signed for Liverpool from French outfit, Lille OSC, in July 2014 after the club beat numerous top European football powerhouses to his signature.
Widely lauded as one of the most promising young forwards in Europe, 20-year-old Origi has already represented his nation 13 times and has scored three goals in the process. This includes the winner against Russia in the 2014 World Cup group stages.
Last season Liverpool loaned Origi straight back to Lille for the entire campaign in an attempt to develop the player further and for him to enjoy more regular first-team football. In total Origi made 33 appearances for Lille, whilst contributing to their charge for Ligue 1 by netting eight goals.
Origi is described as having an immensely powerful body with lighting quick feet and plenty of speed to beat players with. The youngster will be unbelievably eager to make a lasting impression on Rodgers’ and his coaching staff, especially after the extended season away from the club and will no doubt have United defenders on their toes from the outset.
Having been officially unveiled as Steven Gerrard’s successor as Liverpool FC captain just prior to his team’s departure for their pre-season tour, Jordan Henderson will be taking true ownership of Liverpool’s midfield for the first occasions.
With astonishing levels of passion and desire to drive his team forward, Henderson’s dominating presence will prove incredibly difficult work for United’s midfielders, who will need to close down the box-to-box dynamo instantly, to prevent his passing rhythm from flowing fluently to devastating effect.
Appearing in each of the 38 Premier League fixtures Liverpool faced last term with only one being from the substitutes’ bench, Henderson’s importance to his side is obvious. He chipped in with six goals and nine assists domestically and was influential in Liverpool’s ability to secure UEFA Europa League football for next season.
His leadership, innate capacity to motivate the players around him, and deft creativity cause him to regularly stand out from the rest of his teammates, things he will bring in abundance to Adelaide Oval as he looks to galvanize the squad prior to their renewed chase to be crowned Premier League Champions.